Yuanlin within Changhua County
|Country||Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|• Mayor||Zhang Jinkun (張錦昆) (KMT)|
|• Total||40.04 km2 (15.46 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||410 m (1,350 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||20 m (70 ft)|
|• Density||3,115/km2 (8,070/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (CST)|
The land around Yuanlin was cleared of trees and bushes, and fitted for cultivation since the Yongzheng era of the Qing dynasty (1723–1735). It was well developed about the 16th year of the Qianlong era. At first, people cut down the surrounding forests to build their houses. Gradually, only the round woodland was left, and the town was named 圓林仔 (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Oân-nâ-á), meaning "the round woodland." Later the characters were changed to 員林 (Yuanlin). Yuanlin produces different kinds of fruits, and succade (fruit cooked in sugar syrup and encrusted with a sugar crystals) is one of its specialties.
On 8 August 2015, Yuanlin was upgraded from an urban township into a county-administered city after the qualifying population level for city status was revised downwards from 125,000 to 100,000 people.
Yuanlin is located on the eastern border of Changhua County, in central Taiwan. The city is bordered to the north by Dacun, to the east by Fenyuan and Nantou City (the only neighboring settlement outside Changhua County), to the south by Shetou, and to the west by Yongjing and Puxin.
With a population of 124,725 as of December 2014, Yuanlin was the most populous township in Taiwan until it was upgraded into a county-controlled city, and has a higher population than 10 of the 17 County-controlled cities. The division between male and female residents is almost equal, with 63,043 male and 62,433 female registered inhabitants in 36,722 households. At the beginning of the Republic of China era on Taiwan, the first census in December 1946 showed a population of 37,999, with steady annual increases from then on. The number of inhabitants passed the 50,000 mark in 1953, and first exceeded 100,000 in 1979. Since 1995 the population has fluctuated only slightly, and remained between 124,000 and 128,000.
Lunya, Zhenxing, Lincuo, Chushui, Hushui, Dafeng, Zengxing, Fuzun, Xitung, Nantung, Zhongtung, Tungbei, Tunghe, Minsheng, Liming, Huilai, Zhongyang, Gouzao, Darao, Daming, Wannian, Zhongzheng, Renmei, Xinxing, Heping, Guangming, Zhongshan, Santiao, Zhongxiao, Renai, Sanhe, Sanqiao, Sanai, Sanxin, Sanduo, Sanyi, Xinsheng, Nanping, Nanxing, Yuantan and Dapu Village.
In the early 2010s two mayors of the town were convicted in separate corruption cases. July 2010 saw former mayor Tu Quanchong sentenced to 16 years in prison for soliciting NT$3.5 million in kickbacks from a major construction project dating back to his time in office. In April 2011 the then serving mayor, Wu Zongxian, was impeached on corruption charges similarly related to kickbacks from construction projects. Wu was subsequently sentenced to 14 years in prison, having been found guilty of exacting bribes in excess of NT$16 million from 81 different projects since 2005. Officials from the Control Yuan said the scope of Wu's activities was "unprecedented" and that "virtually no construction projects in the town were untainted by corruption".
Yuanlin has a station on the Taiwan Railway Administration's Western Line. A project is underway to redevelop the station in combination with converting the current at-grade line to an elevated line through the city, a plan designed to improve road traffic flow and promote investment. The elevation of the track will eliminate three level crossings and five underpasses, and the area currently comprising the station will be converted into a mixed-use development with commercial space, parking and green space. This redevelopment was scheduled to be completed in 2013 and has a budget of NT$4 billion.
Bus stations in the city are Yuanlin Bus Station of Yuanlin Bus and Yuanlin Transfer Station. To travel outside Yuanlin by road, the Provincial Highway 76, an east-west elevated route, runs through the city and is the most efficient way to reach either of Taiwan's major north-south freeways, the National 1 and the National 3.
- "Population statistics by month (2014)" (in Chinese). Yuanlin Township Household Registration Office. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- 員林鎮走入歷史！彰化縣公告8月8日改為「員林市」. ettoday.net. ETtoday. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- "Population for Township and District". Department of Social Affairs, Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Population statistics by month (2010)" (in Chinese). Yuanlin Township Household Registration Office. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Population statistics by month (1946)" (in Chinese). Yuanlin Township Household Registration Office. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Population statistics by month (1953)" (in Chinese). Yuanlin Township Household Registration Office. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Population statistics by month (1979)" (in Chinese). Yuanlin Township Household Registration Office. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Population statistics by month (1995)" (in Chinese). Yuanlin Township Household Registration Office. Retrieved 2011-02-01. For years since 1995 statistics can be accessed via the drop-down box on that page.
- "Former Yuanlin mayor Tu Quanchong solicits NT$3.5 million, sentenced to 16 years" (in Chinese). Liberty Times. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- "Every Case Corrupt: Yuanlin Mayor Wu Zongxian Impeached". Liberty Times. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- "Yuanlin Plan" (in Chinese). Railway Reconstruction Bureau. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Provincial 76 extending east-west expressway network". The Liberty Times. Retrieved 2011-02-01.